herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Solo doll still playing the drama queen

Traditionally, American pop stars don't make the best yodellers. Actually, I don't think I've ever seen an American pop star perform a spot of yodelling before. It's probably as rare as a 'live' Britney Spears number -- you know, without the Auto-Tune.

And there's a fair amount of pre-recorded help going on in the background as Nicole Scherzinger makes her entrance wearing exactly what you'd expect Nicole Scherzinger to wear at her concerts: very little.

As the evening progresses, the singer does her best to keep in line with this trademark routine of hers and, eventually, shows us what a great yodeller she is.

But what's most amusing about Scherzinger is the emotion that she pours into her songs. That US shtick: arms outstretched, hair blowing in the wind (or, from the electric fans below her feet), telling the crowd you love them over and over again, etc. It's about as dramatic as an old Bonnie Tyler video. She's even got her own live band, along with a group of female dancers who make Scherzinger's former band mates, The Pussycat Dolls, look like The Spice Girls.

There are four of them. They carry chairs and microphones. They'll even perform some magic tricks with a rack of clothes ('oh look, isn't this sexy when I wrap a tea towel around my waist and shake my butt like a stripper?').



scary

The truth is, it isn't sexy. It's trashy. And it's very, very frightening (one of the dancers winked at me -- the one wearing the tea towel).

But that isn't to say that the 33-year-old Hawaiian-born artist isn't a good performer. She's perfectly fine. That is, when she isn't holding back the tears. Or dropping to the ground, shaking her head like a rock star. Or chanting "ole, ole, ole". Aside from the frequent Pussycat Dolls' numbers (Don't Cha, Jai Ho, Stickwitu), there's not much in the way of a memorable catalogue. Although there is something about Poison, a scuzzy, electro-fuelled pop number with twitchy guitars and a hell of a chorus, that works a treat.

It's an 'intimate' show (pop star lingo for 'this is the best I can do solo'), but with arena ambitions. Should it get that far, she's going to have to do lot better than this. HHIII

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